#1-1951: If putting your money where your mouth is, is any indication of one's favorite set, then 1951 Topps is without a doubt on the top of my list for 1950's Topps sets. This was a fun and affordable set for me to collect. For budget collectors like me, it gives collectors an option to build the set one series at a time. After purchasing my first 1951 Topps card out of curiosity one day, I was hooked. This set just seems to make the perfect transition between early Bowmans and more modern Topps sets. 1951 Topps is the probably the greatest underdog set of the 1950s. Beckett price guides typically skip this set, or at best, treat it as two insignificantly-sized sets. Topps company on the other hand, clearly recognizes 1951 as its first real baseball card set consisting of 104 cards. For reference, just look at the 2015 Topps Heritage '51 set consisting of 104 cards, or its many anniversaries celebrated in 1991, 2001, 2011, and even 2016. There's no Mantle or Mays in this set, but how many of us could afford those cards if it did?
#2-1954: This was one the first of the 1950's sets I started collecting, so it holds a lot of sentimental value to me. I used to be a Giants fan, so their final World Series victory until 2010 was appealing early on as well. As far as design, I like the large team icons with the autographed combination of portrait and action shots. When I first started collecting this set commons could be easily found for just over a $1. There are a bunch of stars, but nothing that too unaffordable like in the 1953 and 1955 sets. Key rookies include Al Kaline, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Tommy Lasorda, and Harvey Kuenn.